What strikes a reader first encountering Don Share’s work is the electric energy of his lines, their contemporary music and movement. Reading Wishbone, Share’s third book, is akin to picking up the one clear station still transmitting, the frenetic static of the world replaced by a strong signal broadcast. Share’s poems are contrapuntal ripostes to the Babel of the present, a voice not above the noise, but speaking from its midst in a self-possessed language that muscles a new way into meaning. The poems take place in America’s backyards and byways, intensive care rooms and airports, haunted by fathers and Fathers, informed by philosophy, the Judeo-Christian tradition, and pop culture. One finds the poet there too, less his portrait than a self-deprecating likeness in the crowd (the Renaissance master in the corner of the canvas) decrying and defending, his “umbrella out and Cubs cap on . . . curiously Odyssean in the Loop,” and always at the ready.
Don Share’s work is compressed as a haiku, intent as a tanka, witty as a sonnet, witless as a song, relentless as an exposé, patter without pretension . . . his elegant poetry, exposed as a haiku, expansive as a renga, boisterous as a bridge, happy as Delmore Schwartz with Lou Reed and vice versa, vivacious as the living day . . . built out of attention, music and sight.
The poet’s awareness of how daily life refuses to cohere into a consoling pattern is beautifully mirrored by his conviction that language itself signals a fall from grace and unity and emotional wholeness.
Share is one of the more gifted craftsmen we have writing in America today.
—Erin Belieu, Boston Review
[Don Share] is sage and deeply hilarious.
Few poets manage such dexterous and fresh music.
These poems achieve a moving sense of cosmic desperation.